Call to Adventure
Our Shasta adventure started months ago as the guild learned of the Explorer, Annie Bell, who found herself dispatched in an attempt to research a mysterious sound emanating from Castle Rock. Troupe 001's notes were delivered to her dead drop following her disappearance, but no further communication from Annie had been received. That is until a few weeks ago.
The invitation to Shasta came directly from Annie. She had been compiling her notes along with those sent from the guild expedition to Castle Rock and provided a theory for what has been happening, the night sky was being torn away from the earth due to "sky anchors" being neglected and lost. To prepare for the coming days, a caravan was formed that traveled through Winters and Redding, California revealing some places of note along with some original sky anchors. By the time the expedition crew reached the cabin in Mt. Shasta they were greeted by a stunning property that was full of Explorer Guild history. Over the course of the next few days we explored and learned about this history and reconnected the earth with the heavens.
At the cabin, explorers were first greeted by the Memoraudia, a device which which kept all of Annie's field recordings of the sounds that led to the discovery of her sky anchor theory. This magical box, which is a series of keys and doors that opened to play like an instrument, gave us a closer listen to various natural sounds and jumpstarted our weekend. Not all the keys were present though, and Explorers found themselves seeking out the remaining keys throughout the property.
These keys were found at various alters, historical markers and small portals throughout the property. Each one of these connected to a story, constellation or both. With these new findings, Annie implored for the Explorers to finally create the first sky anchor in decades. With that, explorers ventured off to Castle Lake to find a star stone, created a Stellar Troupe Map and finally bounded the earth back to the night sky with a constellation ritual. The new constellation, which told the story of a masquerading badger who made a new friend via a game of chess, looks over the northern hemisphere and is connected to the earth via the newly discovered star stones. With the sky anchors in place, and the ritual complete Troupe 001 will look forward to renewing this connection in the coming years.
Beyond the Sky Anchor ritual, Explorers were also able to make some new discoveries. The most significant has to be the the Lost Island of Ant-Lantis, (no plum intended). What started off as a leisurely canoe ride in the lake quickly turned into a grand adventure as Explorers Zepheer, Panopticon and eXmarksth decided to make landfall on the center island of the lake in hopes to find more keys to the Memoraudia.
As Pan and Zeph anchored the canoe, eX threw herself onto the island, only to find it was completely taken over by millions of ants! Since the island was so compact and full of shrubbery, she had to crawl on her belly to traverse the island. As she wasn't having much luck in finding any keys, Pan made his way to the island as well only to then be confronted by a swarm of bees! Quick thinking led Pan and eX to find their way to the plum tree which provided some cover and a landing to make their way back to the canoe. As the three paddled off, they realized the importance of documenting this new land for future explorers. Pan and eX dealt with literal ants in their pants as they also discovered a new dance and from there a name came to mind: Antlantis.
Later that night, a covert Explorer team made landfall back on the island as they placed an identifying marker. The following day the original expedition crew returned to get their photo with the flag and a future field guide will walk people through the new landmark.
Other Events of Note
Explorers also took part in general games and fun over the weekend. A croquet match was played on Frog Meadow. Explorers raced around the field, avoiding frog obstacles, survey markers and tufts of high grass. After an hour of intense play Dr. Professor came out on top followed closely by Wisp, Lark and Byzantium. The highlight of the game came from Turtle-ish as a Hail Mary shot on the final gates got him through one but unfortunately he couldn't get the strike on Olivander's ball to seal the finish. As an additional note of the croquet matches, Olivander also completed an incredible move that can best be viewed in the stellar cartography pages. You can locate it in the pages as the move now bears his name.
Dharla, brought an artificial moonlight to the cabin so that explorers could satiate their curiosity and wonder of the insect world. Nights became an active theater for insects of all kinds, while the days were filled with careful inspections of the found creatures from the previous night.
Byzantium brought one of the most beautiful (and one of the most difficult) puzzles ever seen by Explorers. The 5000 piece puzzle was a color gradient so only offered details in gradient adjustments. Though a valiant effort was made, the puzzle did not get completed.
Chris, a friend of the property and a local guide, took the Explorers up on a hike of Shasta. Chris shared beautiful spring waters, snow fields and a stunning display of mountain anemone flowers. Denorae, who unfortunately forgot her hiking shoes ended up hiking the 3.5 mile hike in sandals and occasionally barefoot, ensuring that in the future she can always say: "back in my day I had to walk 3 miles, uphill in the snow barefoot!"
The explorer troupe all jumped in the crystal clear waters of Castle Lake in search of star stones. Though we didn't make base camp at the Fairy Citadel, a couple explorers made landfall on Friendship Island and Danger swam the length of the lake unassisted.
Merit Badge Acknowledgements
At the end of the trip, Dr. Professor acknowledged Explorers who earned themselves new titles and their accompanying merit badges.
Discover: Zepheer, Panopticon, eXmarksthe
Radio Operator: Turtle-ish
Stellar Historian: eXmarksthe
Congrats to each Explorer who achieved these titles.